Complaints of Judicial Misconduct

Congress has created a procedure that permits any person to file a complaint in the courts about the behavior of federal judges – but not about the decisions federal judges make in deciding cases. Below is a link to the rules that explain what may be complained about, who may be complained about, where to file a complaint, and how the complaint will be processed. There is also a link to the form you may use.

If you believe that a federal judge of the United States Courts of the District of Columbia Circuit committed misconduct or has a disability, you may file a complaint about it with the Office of the Circuit Executive, E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, 333 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. The circuit includes the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia.  If the complaint is against a judge outside of the circuit, you must file it at the clerk’s office of the Court of Appeals in the region (“circuit”) in which the judge serves.

Almost all complaints in recent years have been dismissed because they do not follow the law about such complaints. The law says that complaints about judges' decisions and complaints with no evidence to support them must be dismissed. If you are a litigant in a case and believe the judge made a wrong decision – even a very wrong decision – you may not use this procedure to complain about the decision. An attorney can explain the rights you have as a litigant to seek review of a judicial decision.